Cyclepath: Lib Dem press release

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Here we don’ t go again – Wrong turning on Bristol Rapid Bus

Bristol is in danger of losing government funding for a rapid guided bus network, the Liberal Democrats are warning.

Bristol and surrounding authorities could lose the funding because of the controversial choice of routes made in June 2007.

By artificially restricting the choice of routes to just the Bath-Bristol cycle path, we could end up losing funding if this route does not go ahead.

Liberal Democrats are calling for cycle path to be rejected as preferred option, and for all the original possible routes to be properly investigated.

Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson, Cllr Gary Hopkins, said:

“It is unfortunate that following the Greater Bristol Transport Study, central government restricted the choice of transport systems that they would back to effectively just buses, ruling out trams and trains. However, albeit with a restricted choice of transport we had got their backing for making progress”.

Liberal Democrat leader, Cllr Steve Comer said:

“By going down a potential blind alley Councillor Bradshaw could well leave us in a position where we get no new transport improvements, and a lot of people will have been upset along the way.

Whilst it may be technically possible to squeeze the buses and cyclepath together for most of the route, we would lose the huge environmental and cultural benefits the path gives us.

We demand that officers are allowed to properly investigate the other alternative routes and that the public are not presented with yet another bogus ‘consultation'”.

The first key route was to link Emersons Green with Ashton Vale, and a choice of paths including one down the ring road and M32 were available.

Following the change of political administration in May 2007, the new Executive Councillors together with the representatives of various agencies, decided that the least problematic route would be down the cycle path, ex Bath-Bristol railway path. This was settled as the chosen route and all other choices were downgraded.

The ruling Labour administration did not inform other political parties or the general public for some months that they had a preferred route.

Since their preferred route came to light there has been widespread concern and anger. Bristol City Council Labour Executive Member, Cllr Mark Bradshaw, appears now to be trying to distance himself from the decision that he endorsed, despite the written records clearly showing his involvement since
June 2007.

Indeed, he chaired the meeting at which the decision was made.

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35 Responses to Cyclepath: Lib Dem press release

  1. Chris Hutt says:

    So the Lib Dems break ranks and come out , effectively, against the Railway Path route.

    Although they say they are calling for the Path to be rejected as the “preferred” option (but presumably not rejected altogether ), in practice it’s hardly likely that a genuinely fresh assessment of the options, which they also call for, would plumb for the Railway Path.

    I sense the beginning of the end.

  2. bristol dirt bag says:

    Aahh. Now I get it – when the madcap plan falls flat on its face (which it will), the council’s line will go something like this:

    “You’ve stopped our wonderful plan and prevented us from getting huge piles of cash from central government. Now, having blown loads on phoney consultations we’re skint, so we’ll have to either make huge cuts, or, put up council tax by %150.”

    Take note that there will be no cuts in anything that involves twinning procedures (councillors need their expenses paid jamborees after all), or in other junkets for assorted council flunkeys.

    Bristol City Council, for services you don’t need.

  3. poor dear says:

    They seem to forget to mention that Cllr Brown (Lib Dem) started this farce rolling when he held Cllr Bradshaw’s job. Selective amnesia?

  4. Jon Rogers says:

    An application for £80m to improve Bristol’s public transport is not what I would call a “farce”. How this administration is progressing the application is another matter 🙁

    At the time that the Conservatives voted Labour into the administration in May, I understand that there were 4 corridors under closer investigation by management consultants.

    On 21st June 2007 Cllr Bradshaw chaired a meeting of the West of England Partnership Major Transport Schemes Programme Steering Group. That report states that “Following further appraisal, for the purpose of a Major Scheme Bid submission, the consultants have recommended as a first priority the route between Emersons Green, Bristol City Centre and Long Ashton park & ride site for a submission for funding through the RFA allocation.”

    The notes of the meeting “state 7. Bus Rapid Transit. Early scoping was now underway with a bid for funding due in 2008. An initial route from Emersons Green to either Hengrove or Ashton Vale was being investigated. It was noted that consultation was planned for September 2007 and more details of this were requested.”

    I understand that the “further consultation” mentioned was not with the public, which is still planned for March/April 2008, but with “major stakeholders”.

  5. Dave Angel says:

    Any savvy local politician would have sensed the strength of local feeling and immediately and publicly oppose this plan. It is a massive open goal.

    There has been remarkable little commentary by any elected representative on this issue at all. It is almost as if they have agreed between themselves to say nothing and the issue will go away.

    I would have at least expect Green Charlie Bolton to trot out his tried and tested ‘Well I tried opposing it but they all ignored me as I am the only Green on the council’ on his blog, but he hasn’t even done that yet

    At least the Lib Dems have got together and opposed it in a qualified manner, albeit 2 weeks after it became known.

    It would be interesting to do a survey of individual councilors to see if they support or oppose the proposal or even if they provide an opinion.

  6. First, I would like to congratulate the LibDems for recognising the inevitable. I would also like to thank those of their councillors who attended the Easton Meeting on monday and thus recognised how big an issue this was going to be. They know first hand how many people care.

    I am still, however, awaiting a reply from my local Cabot ward LibDem councillor, who is on the West of England partnership. Now that a policy has been determined, perhaps he will be back in touch.

    This will give me the opportunity to discover:

    (a) why did the A432 option get replaced by the railway path during march 2007, when the LibDems were in charge?

    (b) when did the LibDems know that the railway path was the only option under investigation?

    (c) If this was before the Bristol Cycling Campaign heard of it (November), why did no-one communicate with interested parties?

    (d) When did they realise that the idea was bad? Was it before, during or after the Easton Meeting?

    We shall be examining the minutes in more detail to build up a better idea of where the various councillors stood on this matter, though first we need to map the nearly 7000+ signatories to the petition to wards and compare that with the specific majorities of the councillors in those wards…

    -Steve Loughran
    save the railway path campaign.

    “First they ignore you, then they deny it was their idea in the first place.”

  7. Chris Hutt says:

    Dave Angel says “Any savvy local politician would have sensed the strength of local feeling and immediately and publicly oppose this plan” but I don’t think that’s fair.

    The FoI documents show that both Sustrans and the City Council’s so called cycling team (just 2 people dealing with cycling and walking!) were consulted in July and both apparently failed to convey to the BRT bods that the Railway Path was a no-no. Indeed the response for the “cycling team” was described as positive, which just shows how out of touch they are.

    Who can honestly say that they would have anticipated the scale of public hostility to and ridicule of the proposed BRT route? Although I felt that myself, I never imagined that those feelings would be shared so widely. I was, to put it mildly, pleasantly surprised.

  8. Charlie Bolton says:

    Dave Angel says

    ‘I would have at least expect Green Charlie Bolton to trot out his tried and tested ‘Well I tried opposing it but they all ignored me as I am the only Green on the council’ on his blog, but he hasn’t even done that yet’

    To be fair, the Green Party has opposed it – see our website

    and I am happy to leave it to Bristol East Greens to take the lead.

    I do, however, share the concern that Bristol may lose funding. This is not the fault of the opponents of BRT on the cycle path. But it is a possibility (Bristol, after all, has form for not delivering big public transport projects)

    As such, I would urge Sustrans, other opponents of the scheme, the LD’s, labour to get together to see if we can have a win-win – ie get the funding and not build on the cycle path and maybe try and have something good come out of this whole sorry mess.

    Steve Loughran asks about councillors majorities. Mine is 7, and I already know of several Southville cyclists who aint happy.

    ….oh, and as an aside, Bristol Dirt bag mentions twinning – Bristol City Council spends £400k pa, which really isn’t very much compared with the amounts we need fo rpublic transport

  9. Siesta says:

    Dave Angel – the Easton Green candidate was quoted in the Post opposing the BRT route when the plans first became public.

    They’ve also got a press release on Indymedia dated Jan 28th where their Bristol East parliamentary candidate weighs in, and what’s virtually a campaign diary on their own site.

    None of them are as funny as greengage’s blogs on the subject though.

  10. 1. The green party have been against it; they have clearly read all the FOI info very thoroughly.

    2. The council cycling team were consulted, but its hard to know what position they were in, given they were asked by their 0wn employer. It would have been nice for the question to have been passed on to the Bristol Cycling Campaign and other interested parties at this time.

    3. Sustrans were asked, and were opposed at the time. The minutes present this ambiguously, implying that the member asked was in favour, but there was an “organisational line” that was in favour. I think this is mentioned in September minutes.

    Clearly nobody asked anyone in Easton, Greenbank or Clay Bottom; none of them seemed very happy on tuesday.

  11. Chris Hutt says:

    A win-win outcome is only possible if Bradshaw immediately drops the Railway Path option like the hot potato it is and gets an alternative BRT route worked up for submission.

    For all we know that’s what’s happening behind the scenes, although there will have to be some face-saving official explanation to make it all appear like it’s all going to plan (not that any one’s going to believe that for a second but they’ve got to maintain the pretence).

  12. Dave Angel says:

    Charlie, you are one of the more accountable and honest councilors for Bristol, which is why it amazed me that you had not commented on this in any significant way.

    However, if you are a Green with a majority of 7, with a ward that has a higher turnout than average in Bristol (ergo more interested in local politics), why not publicly denounce the scheme? Surely it plays directly into the half of Southville that vote for you and shows you are a councilor who cares.

    I agree there is a potential issue with loss of funding, but this is due to the way the schemes are though through in Bristol and now seem to be in a take it or leave it situation.

    We have now ended up with a scheme that has been decided by an unaccountable quango behind closed doors and only appears to be announced because their hand was forced. This democratic deficit in Bristol is an ongoing wider problem on so many issues and projects and needs resolving.

  13. Chris Hutt says:

    I too am baffled by Green Party reticence on this, as I suspect are the other politicos. This issue has been handed to you on a plate. It’s an almost perfect expression in microcosm of the wider clash between green principles and business-as-usual.

  14. Pedestria says:

    I agree with Dave Angel, and as a Green voter I was very disappointed that the only Green Councillor in Bristol didn’t see the proposed wrecking of the cycle path / green corridor by Bristol’s corrupt, petrolheaded leaders as an issue important enough to discuss on his blog.

    Oh, and £400,000 might not be a lot to you Mr Bolton. but it is a lot to most people who live along the cycle path, and would go a long way towards basic upkeep of the path and other green spaces in the area, which are already short of funds.

    With that sort of attitude no wonder Council Tax is an unaffordable chunk out of people on lower incomes – to whom every £1 counts.

  15. Siesta says:

    Chris Hutt – the Greens have hardly been reticent in their opposition to the plans, unless you equate Charlie Bolton with the entire Green Party. The Bristol East lot haven’t shut up about it since the plans became public.

    Surely there’s an extra nought on the cost of the twinning programme? How can our council possibly spend 400 grand on a few flights and some mugs with the Council logo on them?

  16. To be honest I tend to agree with Dave Angel I have to say.

    What I’d say to Chris Hutt and to Pedestria is that its not the Greens and Green Party who are being retiencent here:

    see: )

    or indeed my blog:

    I’d like to see politicians of all parties acting with conviction, from a set of principles. I’ll be very glad if the Lib Dems

  17. opps, hit the wrong key..

    …I’ll be very glad if all Lib Dems come out in full opposition to the proposal but their press release pronouncements are not rooted in conviction and a set of principles. They’ve waited, judged reactions, used spin and fudging…and now this press release. I suppose you might say that to act in this way is their conviction!

  18. Chris Hutt says:

    Siesta, I take your point about East Bristol Greens, but all the same the Greens in general and Charlie Bolton in particular could be making more of it. Tough being the only Green on the Council, I know, but that’s….tough.

  19. bristoltravelplan says:

    oh well the spinning goes on but
    apparently the key meeting was on 1st december 2006 when the then exec members including dr dennis brown for the liberals decided on the BRT route including the cycle path – ‘reuse of the disused railway line assists in reducing the impacts ‘was the phrase used in their report. and confirmed this again on 28th March 2007 as the top proposal for funding! None of this was FOI’d and someone should get hold of the papers soon before it gets shredded! Hope my mole at the council doesnt get shredded too> they said bradshaw knew about this last week but held off as didn’t want this becoming a party political row but x party solution so I’m told>

  20. Charlie Bolton says:

    Well, I am happy to accept any criticism personally for any levels of inaction.

    But I am genuinely surprised that putting an entry on my blog makes that much difference. Happy to do so, though.

    As to the ‘Greens could make more of it’, well, we have a long history of unpublished press releases

    Oh, and apologies to Pedestria if I gave the impression that £400k is not a lot of money. It clearly is, but to have a half-decent public transport system will cost millions, probably hundreds of millions….

    ….which is why not losing money from the TIF bid (or any other source for that matter) is important

  21. By focusing on the path for a 2008 bid in september, the team are 6 months behind any alternate route, with only 3 months of spare time between september and year end to get their revised bid in. This year’s window is effectively closed. Given that the DfT is turning down anyone whose bid doesn’t include congestion charging, the bid was probably doomed anyway.

  22. Paul Smith says:

    While all this finger pointing might be amusing it is not going to help. It is clear that Charlie Bolton is against this scheme, so is Jon Rogers. What we need to do is get that number up to 36 councillors so that the scheme is kicked to touch and the blame game becomes irrelevant.

  23. Bluebaldee says:

    Dave Angel hit the nail on the head when he mentioned the democratic deficit in Bristol.

    This whole desperate farrago need never have happened if Councillors had less reliance on “management CONsultants” and quangos to make their decisions for them.

    The CONsultants were tasked with examining the potential for a BRT network in Bristol. They would have looked at the Railway Path, thought “easy win” and would have recommended it to Bradshaw/Brown – whichever numpty was in charge at the time.

    CONsultants have sod all local knowledge. They don’t care about local feeling or the local environment or Bristolians’ quality of life. It’s not their problem. They don’t have to make political decisions or take the flak for their crap recommendations.

    They simply pick up a bloody great big cheque, courtesy of us taxpayers and sod off back to London or wherever they came from.

    That’s what happens when you delegate your obligations as an elected representative or a council officer to CONsultants. Except this time the decision has jumped up and bitten quite a few people on the ass.

    Why employ “expert” CONsultants? Why in God’s name do it?

    It’s the same in Children and Young People’s Services. They’ve been employing CONsultants for years. People like Peter Mooney on £300 a day and a pied a terre in Baltic Wharf. Nice old gent but bloody useless.

    Has Bristol’s education provision got better? Of course it hasn’t – it’s still crap, despite literally millions being spent on CONsultants from parasitical companies like Tribal.

    Now we’ve got ourselves into a right old mess because politicians and officers have listened to CONsultants, thinking that they must be right, and not exercised their own grey matter.

    Think about it. Who in their right mind would have thought that letting First run buses (and they are buses, not trams, not “guided buses” or “Showcase buses” – just more bloody buses) down the Bristol to Bath Railway Path would be a good idea.

    It’s just dreadful on so many levels. For starters, as Charlie Bolton says, Bristol hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory with public transport schemes in the past, so you would have thought that the first line in the heralded panacea for the City’s transport woes would be a popular, deliverable, “quick win” solution – but no.

    Our local council and those that sit in it and advise it are so staggeringly incompetent that they turn something with great potential into one of the least popular decisions since the, ahem, Arena fiasco (two in two months – well done lads and lasses!).

    This should have been the signal to Bristolians that finally, after many years, we’re going to get something done about Bristol’s appalling traffic and dire public transport. Instead they’ve not just shot themselves in the foot, they’ve blown their entire bloody leg off.

    Short or reinstating the dual carriageway through Queen Square or building a motorway across the Downs, I can’t think of a stupider, more unpopular transport decision than wanting to run buses along the Railway path. Yet they’ve done it.

    It’s a wonder that these people can actually tie their shoelaces in the morning. Perhaps they get Shoelace CONsultants to do it for them.

    And the Lib Dem claim that this sorry situation threatens to derail the funding for the whole BRT system is just cobblers.

    Remember, we haven’t even had the go-ahead for the “Greater Bristol Bus Network” funding yet, despite it having been in the pipeline for about five years and the bid being submitted in 2006.

    We won’t get the funding for a BRT network until 2014 at the earliest.

    My feeling is that we won’t get it at all. Why would Labour give £800 million out of a TIF fund of £1.6 billion to Bristol alone?

    We’ll end up with CONgestion Charging and a few totally shite “Showcase buses” run by First.

    The worst of both worlds, courtesy of Bristol City Council.

    Two stars my arse.

  24. Gary Hopkins says:

    The press release was from the Liberal democrat group and represents our whole group policy. Not difficuilt to spot the collective decision of the green council group but as was said we need some commitments from elsewhere because at the moment the officers are still following the political lead on to the cycle path to the detriment of developing a real alternative. We appreciate that the primary concern of many is saving the path but getting the BRT investment is also important. Too many chances have been lost in the past.

  25. Bluebaldee says:

    Gary Hopkins,

    The last two sentences of your post above seem to imply that perhaps we should bite the bullet and run buses down the path.

    You seem to think that saving the path and getting the BRT investment are mutually exclusive – why?

    Why not just start the BRT network with another of the nine routes outlined in “Our Future Transport”?

    Your party seems to be needlessly scaremongering.

    Explain why the funding is at risk if a BRT line isn’t built on the path.

    Either you’re trying to score cheap political points or you want to drive this unpopular decision through without explicitly supporting it.

    Any potential BRT funding is years away. This is what the value of the entire TIF fund is:

    08/09 09/10 10/11 11/12
    £290m £600m £930m £1300m

    12/13 13/14 14/15
    £1680m £2100m £2550m

    So I can’t see that this funding is at risk as the quantity that we need won’t come on line for years. And the above figures are for the whole country, not just for Bristol.

    Frankly, I think the figures above are irrelevant anyway. The TIF doc on the DfT website clearly states:

    “However, we have announced that ultimately up to £200m per annum will be made available to support TIF schemes involving demand management each year between 2008/09 and 2014/15, if suitable packages are developed by local authorities. If high quality schemes to a higher value emerge then further funding may be made available. However, the resources available through the Fund will be subject to such pressures as may emerge in other areas of transport spending over time.”

    So the money isn’t even guaranteed or ringfenced andthey only want to spend £200 million per scheme anyway.

    It’s all quite clearly a scam to introduce CONgestion charging without making the promised improvements in public transport, despite the promises made by both Labour and the Lib Dems.

    Bristolians shafted by dishonest politicians, yet again.

  26. Chris Hutt says:

    No one seems to have stopped to ask what the point of BRT is anyway.

    It might be an improvement of sorts on conventional buses, but given the huge costs of construction, both in terms of our money (even if it’s doled out by central government) and in environmental and social impact, it’s got to offer something more substantial than that to justify itself.

    It’s been widely assumed, especially by the media (presumably in response to WEP press releases), that the main point of BRT is to cut congestion, but where is the evidence for this?

    My reading of the consultants reports has so far thrown up the following (Greater Bristol BRT – Environmental Scoping Report – July 2007 – Steer Davies Gleave, available at FoI documents posted by the Cycling Campaign)-

    4.17 “The consideration of traffic impacts of the proposed BRT routes has not included detailed modeling of the changes in traffic flows at this time. Overall, it is anticipated that these changes are not likely to be significant….”

    If there are not likely to be significant changes to traffic flows then doesn’t it follow that there are not likely to be any significant changes to congestion levels?

    So what is the point of BRT?

  27. thebristolblogger says:

    It’s the Trojan Horse to introduce CONgestion charging.

  28. Gary Hopkins says:

    I am not sure if the misinterpretation of our postings by bluebaldee is deliberate or not. The danger is that by pursuing the cycle path route to the detriment of others,which is the consequence of the decision on 21/6 this year they are going up a blind alley and that spending time and resources here will leave them in a position where other routes are not properly explored and therefore not delivered. It is the nature of government in this country that even if the right plans are pursued logically central government can ,sometimes in a completely arbitary way, slam down the shutters but it is our duty as local politicians to at least seek to maximise our chances.

  29. bristoltravelplan says:

    Gary Hopkins – your comments are amazing! In my earlier post (which you’ve ignored) its clear that your colleague dennis brown AGREED to the use of the ‘disused railway’ in December 06 and then again in March 07 when it was seen as the TOP proposal for govt funding, so why not just come clean, own up and help resolve the issue. That’s the problem with Bristol, no political leadership from you and the other professional politicos. i suppose bradshaw has shown the guts to ask sustrans for their involvement and for actually suggesting that the cycle path (sorry, disused railway) is probably not the best option at all! Have you gagged buffer den brown (hard to see this happen as he can talk for days without breathing)

    also, my final point before I start shouting at the screen is how can it possibly help to get govt money if you keep slagging off the same governement!!!!

  30. Chris Hutt says:

    Another thing, Gary Hopkins. I presume you read my post above suggesting that there is no evidence that BRT will reduce congestion, yet you said nothing in response. Can we take that to mean that you don’t dispute that point?

    If so, don’t you think it a bit off that the promoters of BRT appear to be briefing the media with the line that BRT will cut congestion, knowing perfectly well that it won’t?

  31. Jon Rogers says:

    Wow! Leave you lot alone for half a day and 4 messages become 30! Steve Loughran asked about 25 messages ago…

    “(a) why did the A432 option get replaced by the railway path during march 2007, when the LibDems were in charge?”

    It is fascinating looking back through the various notes and presentations to try and discover who knew what and when!

    I have talked with my colleague Dennis Brown as it looked like the meeting of 30th March 2007 was recommending the railway path as the preferred option. That was an officer only meeting, and it was also the start of “Purdah” – the few weeks before a local election when politics is put on hold.

    Dennis said, “The 30th March meeting was an officer-only Bus Rapid Transit Project Board Meeting. It is the first time I have seen either the power-point presentation or the minutes of the Board meeting.”

    It does seem that executive members for the four unitary authorities are not routinely briefed on every officer meeting, but get a full briefing when the steering group meets.

    The steering group met on 14th February 2007 with Cllr Dennis Brown (Bristol), Cllr Sir Elgar Jenkins (BANES & chair) and Cllr Pat Hockey (South Glos) present and apologies from Cllr John Crockford-Hawley (North Somerset). This gave approval for more work on 4 “top performing corridors”

    The next steering group meeting was after the May election on 21st June 2007 when Cllr Mark Bradshaw (Bristol & chair) & Cllr Charles Gerrish (BANES) attended, and apologies from Cllr Elfan ap Rees (North Somerset) and Cllr Brian Allinson (South Glos). This gave approval to prioritise “the route between Emerson’s Green, Bristol City Centre and Long Ashton park & ride site”

    I think this does raise issues about the way in which elected members are involved in such developments. I spoke with Cllr Bradshaw briefly before the Easton meeting on Tuesday and I was unable to understand what he knew and when. I suspect there will be questions for him at the next Cabinet meeting 21st February 2008! Questions need to be submitted by 12th February 2008.

    This is such a long reply that I will split it over several comments…

  32. Jon Rogers says:

    Steve Loughran‘s second question was (b) when did the LibDems know that the railway path was the only option under investigation?

    I knew when Steve Meek emailed councillors on 15th December 2007. I expressed surprise (in fact I thought it was a joke!) and offered to find out more. The Lib Dems had not been informed before, although I note that the decision was placed quietly into the public domain on 16th November 2007 at the Joint Transport Forum in a slide in a BRT presentation.

    (c) If this was before the Bristol Cycling Campaign heard of it (November), why did no-one communicate with interested parties?

    It was not before November.

    (d) When did they realise that the idea was bad? Was it before, during or after the Easton Meeting?

    In my view it is not wrong to “consider the unthinkable” when it comes to public transport in Bristol. What went wrong here was that other options were ruled out without open discussion and dialogue. As Liberal Democrats we pride ourselves in checking out the facts and trying to understand all sides of an issue, before making a decision. We don’t always get it right, but hopefully when we get it wrong we admit it.

    Finally, I have tried to forward to Steve Meek the programme steering group documents and presentations that Gary Hopkins and I obtained on Tuesday after our briefing with officers before attending the meeting, but yahoo has bounced the email saying it is too large. I spoke to Steve this morning and I will forward the items again one at a time.

    Jon Rogers, Ashley Ward Lib Dem Councillor
    jon DOT rogers AT
    0117 914 2558

  33. I admit that this comment is a ‘doom and gloom’ one…(unless you are a lover of canoeing). But I challenge anyone to demonstrate that its not rational!

    None of the current transport plans will cut congestion (or its consequent air pollution, carbon emissions and climate effects). Several times more money is needed for public transport, walking and cycling but its just not being made available on this scale. Cultural change, away from private car use, is also needed but there is little sign of this. Government has allowed bus and train costs to rise substantially in real terms, whilst the ‘service’ is poor. Yet best science says we need to see carbon emissions peak and begin to decline by 2015 to keep global warming to 2 degrees !!

    Keeping warming to two degrees seems very unlikely now. This means we are into 3 or 4 degree territory and much more extreme climate effects. As a result of this perhaps it wont be long before we’ll all be able to f***ing canoe between Bristol and Bath down what was the A4, which already floods quite nicely in places! Ray Mears would be in his element!

  34. Pedestria says:

    Old Ken steals Sian’s clothes … Charlie cheers ?

    Charlie Bolton said, “to have a half-decent public transport system will cost millions, probably hundreds of millions….”

    Perhaps. However, I reckon we need to be thinking more about social measures for reducing hyper-mobility and frenetic travel. The current focus on grandiose infrastructure projects like BRT is more about fat contracts, business as usual and being seen to be doing something to address the problems that those in authority have caused in the first place with their obsession with a neoliberal perpetual growth economy. That needs to be challenged.

    Bristoltravelplan said, “how can it possibly help to get govt money if you keep slagging off the same governement!!!!”

    So, Bristoltravelplan, are you saying that Labour would withhold money from useful projects simply on the political grounds that people dare to raise their voices against The Party?

    Presumably the converse would also be true too, then – that Labour will throw money at anything which keeps people voting for them?

    The picture you paint is one of a Party that sees itself as above the democratic process.

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